The origin of the name ‘Dead Man’s Pass’ (also known early in the history of South Australia as Para Pass and perhaps Murray Pass) has long been the subject of debate. In early colonial times, a ‘pass’ was a ford across a watercourse for bullock teams and horse transport. Colonel William Light is known to have visited the area as early as December 1837 and he used the campsite at Para Pass while exploring the Barossa region, and in his quest to find a passage through the Mount Lofty Ranges to the River Murray. A large red gum is believed to be the tree in which the ‘dead man’ was interred or found. There are four accounts of the finding of the dead man any one of which could be true. The place of the burial to this day retains the name of Dead Man’s Pass.
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